Three of the outstanding vocalists of recent times – Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker – were thrown together through chance meetings on the touring circuit, and the decision to form Boygenius was a natural one. Each bringing one song and one work in progress into the studio, the resulting six-song EP showcases both their disparate talents and shared experience. Dacus’ superbly ragged guitar playing adds grit to the towering riposte Salt In The Wound, and the scything honesty on album opener Bite The Hand (“I can’t love you like you want me to”) is unmistakably hers. Baker’s soaring, emotive alt-country slow-burner Stay Down reaches an anthemic conclusion, while Bridgers’ mournful, haunting vocal evokes the American open road on Me & My Dog as she pleads: “I want to be emaciated/ I want to hear one song without thinking of you”. All three voices combine to stunning effect on tender closer Ketchum, ID, Baker observing: “Being in love is the same as being alone”. A trio who prove to be as great as the sum of their parts; let’s hope a full album is in the offing.
Written by Gary Walker. Released on Matador.